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Alba Iulia
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Embrace the feedback, make the change

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The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) handed a P75,000 fine and a three-game suspension to the Ateneo Blue Eagles Men’s Basketball Head Coach and current Assistant Coach of TNT Ka Tropa Basketball team in the PBA Coach Tab Baldwin, in regards to his comments that was deemed detrimental to the 45-year-old league according to the PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. 

It was in a podcast where Coach Tab gave his opinion on the league, the referee’s treatment of imports and further commented on the tactical immaturity of the Filipino coaches.

As a lover of basketball, Coach Tab’s comments are on the tip of many Filipino and non-Filipino basketball fans’ tongues but they want to keep their heads inside their shells as they fear the backlash of the community for stating their opinion and risk being ostracised. Coach Tab has an impressive résumé in the world of basketball; his knowledge of the game and his approach brings out the best in his players and the organisation. 

One particular issue I want to bring out is Coach Tab’s comment on the “tactical immaturity” of the Filipino coaches in the league. I just want to let you know that this is my own opinion and I am not speaking out of turn.

I have never been paid to play basketball professionally or been given the clipboard to coach a professional team. However, I am fascinated with the state of Philippine basketball. I have been around nearly as long as the PBA and as a kid, that is when I developed the love for the game.

Watching Ginebra led by Robert Jaworski, supported by the Loyzaga brothers, the highflying American imports the  “Black Superman” Billy Ray Bates and Michael Hackett watching them was a highlight. If you grab an old Betamax copy of the 1986 finals series Ginebra San Miguel versus the Manila Beer Brewmasters, and grab a clip from YouTube of the 2019 PBA Governors Cup Finals with Meralco Bolts versus Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. Both are high scoring games, there are a lot of the same fast transitions and inside drives to the basket. For 33 years nothing much has changed, the only difference is the length of the shorts. 

You may be reading this and you are not a sports fan, you may be asking “so how does this apply to me?” My question to you is how do you react when someone gives you feedback?  Do you reflect and ponder on what the person is telling you and see if what they are saying is valid? Or do you curse them out for stating the obvious, exposing your flaw or shortcoming?

Well, that is what the forty-plus-year-old organisation is doing to its management and other stakeholders. They are upset with the feedback given by Coach Tab. The league is also a talent feeder to the national team, using the same approach has turned a once powerhouse basketball nation stuck reminiscing about the glory days. 

If you want a different result, try something different. Don’t be sensitive about receiving feedback, embrace it, take it as positive even if it angers you, and acknowledge the person and their feedback. Until next time, STAY FOCUSED!

(For comments or feedback, email thadmangalino@gmail.com)

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